Fonds F038 - Magnus Isacsson fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Magnus Isacsson fonds

General material designation

  • Moving images
  • Graphic material
  • Sound recording
  • Textual record

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Title statements of responsibility

The fonds was created by Magnus Isacsson.

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the fonds.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1969 - 2017 (Creation)
    Isacsson, Magnus

Physical description area

Physical description

2.5 m of textual records
5975 photographs
686 moving images
45 sound recordings
37 optical discs
19 prints
7 data cartridges
4 drawings
4 posters
1 floppy disc
1 film reel

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Magnus Isacsson, a Swedish-Canadian filmmaker, was born in Sweden in 1948 and moved to Canada in 1970. He studied political science at the University of Stockholm in Sweden and later in Montreal, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the Université de Montreal in 1973. He also studied history and cinema at McGill University and took classes at Concordia University in Montreal, though he did not receive a degree from either institution. He was married to Jocelyne Clarke, documentary filmmaker and founder of Productions Pléiades. They had two children, Anna and Béthièle.

Early during his career, Isacsson worked as a radio producer for the Swedish Broadcasting and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC). From 1980 to 1986 he was a producer for CBC’s English and French-language networks and worked as a producer for several programs, including Le Point, The Fifth State, and Contrechamps. Isacsson became an independent filmmaker in 1986.

With a documentary filmmaking career of over 25 years, Isacsson produced, wrote and directed several documentaries about critical social and political issues. During his career, he won several awards. Notably, he was the recipient of the Golden Sheaf Award for Uranium in 1991, and his film Power won best documentary at both the Paris International Environmental Film Festival in 1997 and at the Lausanne festival in 1999. Pressure Point (1999) received the Quebec Film Critics award for Best Documentary in 2000.

Magnus Isacsson was awarded the 2004 Prix Lumières from the Quebec Directors’ Association, and in 2012, Isacsson was named member Emeritus of the association. He was also a member of the Documentary Association of Canada, the Association des Réalisateurs et Réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ), the Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma (Sartec), and was a former vice-president of the Observatoire du documentaire,

Isacsson was also an educator and throughout his career taught several courses and workshops about documentary film production. He taught at Concordia University in Montreal, Whitman College, the Quebec film school and at University of Montreal, among others. He also taught audiovisual production in South Africa and Zimbabwe, and collaborated in the production of teaching material Produire en Vidéo Légère volumes 1, 2 and 3.

His last film, Granny Power (2014), was completed and released posthumously by his wife Jocelyne Clarke.

Magnus Isacsson died in August 2012.

Custodial history

Materials were donated to the Concordia University Library’s Special Collections by Jocelyne Clarke, the wife of Magnus Isacsson. Documents were organized posthumously by Jocelyne Clarke.

Scope and content

The Magnus Isacsson fonds documents the life and work of Magnus Isacsson from 1971 to 2017. It contains materials covering his early career as a TV producer, his experience as a freelance journalist and educator, and the many years he spent working as an independent filmmaker. The fonds provides insight into Isacsson’s projects, including completed, unfinished, and unreleased works. The fond also includes documentation on the release, screening, and critical reception of his films.

The Magnus Isacsson fonds contains records in a variety of media and formats that detail the administrative and creative processes behind his work in radio, television and film. Among other types of documents, the fonds contains Isacsson’s research and notes; shooting tapes, raw footage, and master tapes in several formats; sound recordings; photographs; promotional material; contracts; correspondence; project proposals; articles and newspaper clippings; financial records; and teaching material.

The Magnus Isacsson fonds is divided into 3 series:
• F037/A Documentary Projects
• F037/B Journalism and writing
• F037/C Personal papers
• F038/D Television Work

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Materials were donated to Concordia University Library by Jocelyne Clarke. They arrived at Concordia University Library on May 18, 2021.


Textual records has been arranged in the order of receipt. Oversized and audio-visual materials are stored separately. Some audiovisual material was re-arranged by the archivist.

Language of material

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Swedish

Script of material

    Language and script note

    Textual records are in English and French, some are in Spanish.

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    Restrictions on access

    Access to some documents is restricted.

    Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

    In most cases, reproduction for the purpose of research and private study is allowed. Requests for reproductions of audiovisual materials from this fonds will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    Using materials for purposes other than research and private study will require the permission of the copyright holder(s).

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    Box listings are available.

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    No further accruals are expected.


    Documents were placed in acid-free file folders and archival quality boxes. Oversized materials were flattened and placed in large-size archival folders. Photographs are in Mylar enclosures and audiovisual material was rehoused in archival quality boxes.


    Copyright belongs to the creator(s).

    Accompanying material

    An archived copy of Magnus Isacsson's blog, Documentary Field Notes and Flashpoints, is accessible via Concordia University's Archive-It page:

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    Level of detail

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    • English
    • French

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